Jamaican Ackee
It's Versatility and History

subscribe here if new
Custom Search




jamaican ackee

Jamaican Ackee, contributed

According to one writer, if there was a code word for all Jamaicans it probably would be Ackee. Not only is ackee a key ingredient our national dish - 'ackee and saltfish', it is also officially the national fruit and a national symbol of Jamaica.

Jamaican Ackee and SaltFish Dish

The tree is not endemic to the Caribbean but rather, was introduced from West Africa in the 18th century during the slave trade. Its name is derived from the West African Akye fufo.

It was first introduced to Jamaica, then later to Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados and others. It was subsequently introduced to Florida in the United States.

The plant was named Blighia sapida in honour of Captain William Bligh who, in 1793, took samples to Kew Gardens in South London.

Ackee trees are found all across Jamaica. There are two bearing seasons: between January to March and June to August- although my yard tree appears to bear right throughout the year!

The fruit turns red on reaching maturity and splits open with continued exposure to the sun.

Traditionally it is at this time that the ackees are harvested and the edible portion (the arilli) removed and cleaned in preparation for cooking.

This delicacy is enjoyed by many at breakfast or as an entree. Along with saltfish (cod) used in our national dish, Jamaican ackee is a favourite for many when served with pork, salted mackerel, tinned mackerel, etc.

There is now also ackee quiche, ackee stuffed peppers, cream of ackee soup, ackee stuffed chicken leg, ackee pizza, and the now - increasingly popular ackee punch!

The canned product is exported to ethnic markets worldwide and continues to be enjoyed by both visitors to the island and Jamaicans residing overseas.

ackee tree in jamaica

Ackees on tree in Jamaica

In terms other uses, the oil of the ackee arils contains many important nutrients, especially fatty acids. Linoleic, palmitic and stearic acids are the primary fatty acids found in the fruit.

The dried seeds, fruit bark and leaves are used medicinally while the fruit is used to produce soap in some parts of Africa.

In 2006, one of our local communities, Linstead in St. Catherine, hosted the Inaugural Ackee Festival, where all types and varieties of preparations of ackee were showcased.

So although it is not indigenous to Jamaica, it has remarkable historic and cultural associations here.

And by the way other names and variant spellings include Akee, akee apple, Achee, or vegetable brain!


Return to Jamaican Food from Jamaican Ackee
Return to My Island Jamaica from Jamaican Ackee

References:
1. "Jamaican Ackee", The Department of Chemistry, UWI Mona. .
2. "Ackee", Wikipedia.com 3. "The Ackee Fruit", The Science Creative Quarterly.
3. "Ackee", About.com.
4. "A Book Dedicated to Ackee", Jamaica Gleaner.
5. "Ackee Festival for Linstead", Jamaica Information Service.

Originally Posted: 9/25/2009


Related Pages:

acke pod

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Need My Help?

Hi Wellesley here, Founder & CEO of this website. 
Did you find exactly what you were looking for?

OK, Click Here Now to subscribe to my special friends list and let's pick up on 'the inside'. 

Thanks For Reading!
Like What You Just Read?

Please join me in my effort to share the beauty and uniqueness of Jamaica with the world. You can do so by sharing this insightful narrative on the social media of your choice and ask others to do the same (BELOW). 


Get Exclusive Updates & Tips!

You are also welcome to join my special friends list and receive exclusive updates (like this), tips, trivia and stories from lovers of Jamaica!

facts about jamaica book icon

I'll Gift You A FREE COPY of my eBook, 101 Intriguing Facts About Jamaica - just for subscribing!

Just enter your email & name below:

copyscpe
Top Of Page

And please,
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL 
WITH US!

SEARCH THE SITE



Site Sponsors

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page





Events Calendar
(click for info)

Jamaica Events Calendar




Tips & Tricks For Your Jamaica Vacation!

Jamaica Travel Guide

Click Here To Get Your Copy

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. Wataland Jamaica Attraction

    Jun 30, 15 11:23 PM

    THE WATALAND ATTRACTION by Karena Gayle **Wellesley's Note** This is another unedited review by my daughter. She is certainly going places, wouldn't you

    Read More

  2. Jamaican Thyme - Its Uses & Health Benefits

    Jun 21, 15 09:49 AM

    The many uses and benefits of Jamaican thyme

    Read More

  3. Negril Jamaica All Inclusive Resorts - The Best Budget Friendly Options

    Jun 11, 15 01:59 PM

    Our recommendation on the best of budget friendly Negril Jamaica all inclusive resorts

    Read More


What Makes Jamaica Special?

Sports
Food
Reggae
People
Blue Mountain Coffee
Beaches
Other

Please enter the word that you see below.

  


Resources

Do Like I Did, Start YOUR Own Business
- Part-Time! Click Here


Friendly Links

  1. Our Partners & Friends
  2. Catcha Falling Star Villas
  3. Wade Hilton Jamaican Author
  4. The Jamaica Real Estate Guide
  5. Medicinal Herbs-4u.com
  6. DancehallReggaeWorld.com
Interested in becoming a partner? email me here

Buy Me A Drink


(Click on the drink below)